Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Why this extraordinary disparity when it comes to anti-Semitic abuse?

On the 18th of February 2019 an outrageous anti-Semitic slur was broadcast on British television, yet virtually nobody raised the slightest exception to it.

The slur was the propaganda trope of the "self-hating Jew", which implies that there are 'good and proper Jews' who do as they're expected by wider society, and 'bad degenerate Jews' who defy social expectation of Jewish behaviour to such an extent that their actions can only be explained by the fact that they must be 'Jewish anti-Semites' who hate their own Jewishness.

To make matters worse this anti-Semitic slur wasn't just thrown out there as an anti-Semitic slur against left-wing Jews in general in the manner of Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid, it was specifically targeted at a Jewish individual (Michael Segalov - well worth a follow if you do Twitter) on national television, which conjured the spectacle of a non-Jewish person publicly bullying a Jewish person by smearing him as 'not a proper Jew'.

The unbelievable reaction of the rest of the Good Morning Britain panel was to just ignore the slur as if nothing happened and leave Segalov to defend himself (in much the same way Angela Smith's bizarre "funny tinge" racism has been glossed over by the mainstream media and political neoliberals as if it somehow didn't matter, or didn't even happen).

it's quite extraordinary to see Segalov left to defend himself against this anti-Semitic slur as the rest of the panel just completely let it slide. No condemnation of the abuse, no solidarity with the victim, nothing!

the absolute apathy and passivity of the rest of the panel in the face of such overt racism was actually even more shocking than the racism itself. Just watch it for yourself

The person making the "self-hating Jew" accusation was the right-wing polemicist Tom Bower who has been desperately hawking his lame hatchet job on Jeremy Corbyn to anyone who will listen (the bizarre gibberish that Jeremy Corbyn is a depraved "dangerous hero" because he likes baked beans and no frills camping holidays in the British countryside!).

In fact Bower has had his anti-Corbyn polemic serialised in the notoriously anti-Semetic Daily Mail propaganda rag that glorified Hitler, propagandised for the British Union of Fascists, and demanded Britain turn away Jewish refugee children from Nazi Germany.

So here we have a right-wing Corbyn critic publicly using an anti-Semitic trope to personally attack a Jewish person on live television, and virtually nobody in the mainstream media even batted an eyelid about it.

Just imagine if it had been a Corbyn ally publicly lambasting a Jewish person as 'the wrong kind of Jew' on national television. How do you think the mainstream media would have reacted to that?

Mass indifference, or wall-to-wall vitriolic condemnation?

So why does this extraordinary disparity exist when it comes to anti-Semitic abuse?

If literally anyone out of the 500,000+ members of the Labour Party says anything vaguely anti-Semitic and Jeremy Corbyn is held personally responsible by the Westminster establishment class and mainstream media hacks alike.

But a right-wing anti-Corbyn polemicist outright abuses a Jewish person on national television, and none of them even give the slightest shit!

The glaringly obvious conclusion is that anti-Semitism is just a disposable tool to people who are enveloped in the anti-Corbyn cult mentality.

If someone on the left says anything that can be interpreted as anti-Semitism then the defenders of the neoliberal orthodoxy will use the issue to attack Corbyn personally. But if someone who belongs to their anti-Corbyn in-group uses an anti-Semitic trope to bully and abuse a Jewish person on live TV, they immediately forget about the issue of anti-Jewish bigotry altogether.

And this disparity is vitally important because anyone who condemns anti-Semitism amongst their political foes, but ignores or condones it amongst their political allies is guilty of cheapening and debasing the fight against anti-Jewish bigotry.

This isn't just disgustingly hypocritical behaviour, it's also dangerous, because it risks creating the public perception that anti-Semitism isn't actually a real issue with appalling real life consequences, but just some kind of abstract political weapon to be used selectively in order to discredit people on the left.

Anyone who has actual legitimate concerns about anti-Jewish bigotry must surely be left wondering how on earth nobody on the panel thought to call out this display of bigoted anti-Jewish bullying in the moment, and with even bigger questions about how the mainstream media just ignored the fuck out of an extraordinary display of anti-Semitism on live TV simply because highlighting an anti-Corbyn polemicist spewing anti-Semitism would completely contradict the objectives of their underlying anti-Corbyn/protect the neoliberal status quo agenda.

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James said...

Self hating Jew - WTF ? Just because he disagrees with you. Just like Piers Morgan the other week with John Barnes... Britain is so backwards at this point in time.

Anonymous said...

I hope Mr Segalov is able to take legal action over this. It was absolutely disgusting. 😡

Anonymous said...


Official complaints might actually help turn the tide on this kind of stuff.

Sarah said...

Bizarrely, I have been called a self-hating Jew, online and a while ago. Bizarre because I am neither Jewish nor particularly self-hating. The person who called me that was making a judgement based on my first name, which is biblical, and the fact I had mentioned travelling in Israel / Palestine, but it was inspired by my criticism of some of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians and the Occupied territories. It's a pretty shocking thing to be called on mainstream TV. I wonder if it is actionable, though?

Simon J Broome said...

If I was Segalov (and Thank your chosen deity that I'm not), I would've socked him. I would've declared "Fuck you!" And Socked him.

Because FUCK these Nazis. I'm sick of pussyfooting around it, they're Nazis! Or if you're so Pedantic, NEO-Nazis, but as far as I'm concerned, same difference. How Dare anyone tell anyone else what they are. Makes me steaming mad.

Anonymous said...

One wonders whether there's a particular discourse to be discoursed over in a question that might usefully explore 'what kind of individual is able to, or can, or does, or is not able to, hate themselves?'. If Jewish people aren't able to hate themselves because of some racist tropisms that are likely to be gathered up from an esoteric lexicon of 'racist slurs' that indicates 'No - it's not possible for Jews to hate themselves because of them being of the Jewish faith' raises some interesting dichotomies where other faiths require 'a look-in on self-hate' as well. Don't they? Being Christian or Muslim or folk of other faiths does not preclude people of those faiths hating themselves does it? Or, does it? Or, are we confusing an individual's potential self-hatred outside of their faith as a person? What's going on? We're allowed to hate ourselves aren't we whether we are of a faith or not? Except, of course, the issue in question is telling someone else they hate themselves - especially if they're of the Jewish faith.

I'm not defending Bower. Why would I - because, I'm a staunch Corbynista and Brexiteer to boot - which by all accounts makes me even more of a Corbynista than Corbynista Remainers. Think about it.

Unknown said...

That is a disgusting interview and I am appalled particularly at Richard Madley as I had always regarded him as a defender of fairness and being bullied!! Bower is a racist "author" with little talent and will do anything against Corbyn for his own ends! !!

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